It's a question NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock brought up as soon as former Oklahoma State safety Johnny Thomas stepped to the starting line of the 40-yard dash during Tuesday's defensive backs workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine.
What led to Thomas being ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA for the entire 2011 season?
“Red flag right there,” Mayock said. “As Deion (Sanders) said, I know there's not a math book at the end of the 40, but I would like to know why he missed the entire season (because of) academics.”
That's something Thomas surely had to answer multiple times during his stay in Indianapolis. But Tuesday was about Thomas showing off his physical skills to NFL teams for the first time in more than a year, as he tries to prove he deserves to be selected during April's draft.
Thomas placed in the top 10 among safeties in the 40-yard dash (4.63 seconds), bench press (20), vertical jump (35.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, three inches) and three-cone drill (7.01 seconds).
Thomas was inconsistent during position drills. He had to restart a coverage drill when he turned his hips too early and dropped a ball while running to his left during another drill. But he also made an athletic one-handed catch.